Mahendra Singh Dhoni moved back the years with an unbeaten 38-ball 50 yet his group Chennai Super Kings went down to Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in the IPL opener on Saturday.
The 40-year-old Dhoni, who gave the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja on Thursday, lifted holders Chennai from a problematic 61-5 to post 131-5 in the wake of being placed into bat in Mumbai.
Kolkata arrived at their objective in 18.3 overs with new captain Shreyas Iyer unbeaten on 20 toward the beginning of the Indian Premier League.
Ajinkya Rahane top-scored with 44. Quick bowler Dwayne Bravo guaranteed three wickets to approach veteran Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga as the main wicket-taker in the competition with 170 scalps.
Dhoni, a veteran wicketkeeper-hitter, took as much time as is needed to get rolling in season 15 of the Twenty20 competition however put on an unbeaten stand of 70 with the left-given Jadeja, who made 26, and the pair got 47 off the last three overs.
Dhoni, who drove Chennai to their fourth IPL title in the Covid-hit Twenty20 competition finished in the United Arab Emirates last year, crushed seven fours and one six to bring alive the restricted group at the Wankhede Stadium.
It was Dhoni’s first 50 years since April 2019 when he crushed 84, albeit in a losing cause against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The money rich competition has been extended to 10 groups and 74 matches however association games would be limited to four scenes in Mumbai and Pune.
Delhi Capitals take on five-time victors Mumbai Indians in the primary match on Sunday while Punjab Kings meet Bangalore in the evening game.